Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/223

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Popular Science Monthly


��The Mysterious Ice Mines of the United States

THERE are several caves in the United States where Nature seems to have become confused as to the seasons. During the late spring and summer ice forms and a freezing temperature prevails, but as winter comes on the interior of the caves becomes milder, the ice gradually melts and a kind of subdued summer sets in under- ground.

One of these peculiar caves is to be found at Coudersport, Pa., and one at Decorah, Iowa. The superstitious among the resi- dents of those localities give the caves a wide berth and look with suspicion upon any one daring enough to attempt to in- vestigate them.

Edwin S. Balch, of Philadelphia, who has made a study of the subterranean ice mines, as they are called, states that according to the theory evolved by investigators the formation of the caverns is such that the cold air of winter does not penetrate and settle in them until late in the spring at the time when the water from spring thaws is seeping through the walls and roof. This water meeting the cold air freezes and stays frozen all summer until, as the fall season approaches, the warm summer air at last finds its way into the cave and melts the ice.

When the snow is flying above and ice- skating is the amusement of the moment the summer air is at work in the cave and still water bathing might be indulged in by the residents of the community if the environment were right and if they dared. By the time this summer air begins to lose its heat it is spring again above ground.


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��Poison Ivy : How to Kill It and Cure a Case of Inflammation

THE cheapest and most effective method of eliminating poison ivy, according to experts of the Department of Agriculture, is the simple one of rooting up the plants and destroying them. If the poison ivy is in large fields it may be necessary to plow and cultivate the land. Ivy on large trees, stone walls and buildings can be killed by arsenate of soda, at the rate of two pounds to ten gallons of water. Two or three applications are sufficient.

The fall of the year is the safest time to handle poison ivy, because at that time the sap and pollen are out of the plant. With the exercise of due care, the use of overalls and gauntleted gloves will enable most individuals to deal with the plant without danger. A further protection is to grease the hands with lard and after the plants have been handled to wash off the hands with strongly alkaline soap.

Minute amounts of a nonvolatile oil in poison ivy is what makes it cause extensive inflammation. Alcohol or a solution of sugar of lead will remove this oil; it is insoluble in water. In cases of poisoning, one of the most effective methods is to cleanse the inflamed surface repeatedly with alcohol, or with a saturated solution of sugar of lead in alcohol, using a fresh bit of lint or absorbent cotton each time to prevent the spread of the irritant. Covering the inflamed parts with lint or absorbent cotton kept constantly moist with limewater or with a saturated solution of bicarbonate of soda will afford relief.

It is a curious fact that many people are so constituted as to be able to handle poison ivy without being at all affected by it.



methods of disinfection and communication control will be employed on board the ship. The main operating room will be located amidships and will extend the height of two decks

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